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Is G-d your addiction?

Friday, 3 May, 2019 - 7:44 am

While Jewry is still reeling from the tragedy in Poway, we mustn’t forget about the incredible Passover celebration that preceded the heartbreaking news. The warmth with which hundreds received their hand-made Shemurah Matzah, the depth in which so many studied about the holiday, the six exciting Seders offered by Chabad’s three branches in Big Sky Country and the thousands touched by the rabbinical student visits and Montana’s Jewish Voice in the mail. I’ve been doing this for twelve years, yet for me, the inspiration increases from year to year. I’m truly honored to be part of the Montana Miracle.

Yet, the challenge is for Passover to carry on.

In this week’s Torah portion, Acharei, we read about the passing of Aaron’s sons Nadav and Avihu. While he was comforted by their holiness and by his surviving sons Elazar and Esamar, the pain he, and his wife Elisheva, experienced by their loss was so raw and deep. The Holy Or HaChaim, explains their sin as follows: they yearned for sanctity, they were addicted to G-d to a fault, reaching a spiritual peak of no return. Judaism 101 teaches that our holy moments must penetrate our mundane, even coarse, life experiences and they sinned by forgetting this vital principle. If we seek, and even attain, light, but don’t use the tools at our disposal to channel that light into the nitty gritty, then we’ve missed the boat. Nadav and Avihu knew how to get high on G-d but didn’t know how to sober up to deal with reality.

On Passover we get high. We have Seders, do lots of Mitzvot, pray in Shul, remember our loved ones at Yizkor and even make resolutions on how to keep the inspiration going. Then, Passover is over, we “turn the kitchen over”, out with the Matzah back with the Pizza and “we get real” and often lose the high. It is in the aftermath of a joyous holiday, that we must remember the “Nadav & Avihu” blunder and remain focused on G-d’s plan. If G-d wanted us to be angelic, He would’ve created us as angels in a heavenly abode. He didn’t. He wanted us as humans, with all our struggles and weaknesses, seeking a relationship with Him despite, or perhaps due to, our shortcomings.

Passover mustn’t be passed over, even after Passover!  

May G-d guard our brethren in Israel and the world over from harm and send us Moshiach speedily. May He protect the armed forces of Israel and the United States wherever they may be. Shabbat Shalom! Chazak!!! L'Chaim!!!

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